Re­think use of over­seas aid

The Peterborough Evening Telegraph - - Your Views -

The like­li­hood is our for­eign aid bud­get, en­shrined in law as 0.7 per cent of GDP, is not likely to be re­duced any time soon.

With this in mind, we should look at spend­ing this money more ef­fec­tively with more clearly de­fined and tar­geted goals.

The UK only hit its 0.7 per cent GDP tar­get by in­clud­ing the UK’s con­tri­bu­tion to the Euro­pean Union’ s development aid bud­get (€56.5 bil­lion in 2013), much of which goes to EU states butis also al­lot­ted as struc­tural aid de­liv­ered as the EU saw fit.

This is why UK tax-payer’s money ended up as struc­tural aid to Zim­babwe, via the EU, de­spite a block on all such from the UK it­self.

At the mo­ment, a good por­tion of our aid money is not man­aged ac­cord­ing to our pri­or­i­ties and is dis­con­nected from our tax­payer’ s over­sight.

Once we re­gain con­trol of that money, we should use it to pi­lot schemes with one goal –the eco­nomic em­pow­er­ment and in­de­pen­dence of African coun­tries, par­tic­u­larly those in the Com­mon­wealth.

This would not be tra­di­tional struc­tural aid, with its vul­ner­a­bil­ity to cor­rupt wastage or em­bez­zle­ment.

These would be tar­geted pro­grammes with ex­ten­sive over­sight and au­dit­ing from the UK. One sen­si­ble pro­gramme might be to re­quire any UK com­pany who wins a ten­der for a project fi­nanced by struc­tural aid to pro­vide a large num­ber of proper ap­pren­tice­ships and train­ing po­si­tions, split equally be­tween UK na­tion­als and cit­i­zens of the coun­try in which the project is tak­ing place. As this would be funded by money al­lo­cated to for­eign aid, it would pro­vide a good num­ber of real ap­pren­tice­ship s with­out imp act­ing on the UK’ s ed­u­ca­tion bud­get, im­prov­ing our skills base while build­ing ties and im­prov­ing self-suf­fi­ciency in the re­cip­i­ent na­tion. Mar­got Parker

UKIP MEP Small busi­nesses

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